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by Abigail Van Buren

Preschool Recycling Begins With Some Adult Education

DEAR ABBY: A couple of mothers in my neighborhood and I teach home preschool for our 2- and 3-year-olds. This month we are talking about conservation. Though these children don't understand all about conservation and ecology, they at least understand the concept that each person can and should do his part to keep our world beautiful and safe.

We would like to do our part by separating our trash into containers labeled "paper," "glass," "aluminum" and "everything else." However, I am confused as to what constitutes recyclable paper products.

Would used paper towels be acceptable or not? What about cardboard boxes -- such as cereal boxes, doughnut boxes, etc.?

Please advise me on any steps I need to take before taking things to the recycling plant. Thank you. -- MAREN IN MESA

DEAR MAREN: Check the Yellow Pages of your telephone directory under "Recycling," "Scrap" or "Solid Waste." You might also contact your local solid waste management office, which is usually a part of the Department of Public Works. Someone there can help you identify local recycling groups, other area schools and groups with recycling programs, local environmental groups, and companies that accept recyclables and process or sell them to reclaimers.

This research will help you find out which materials are being recycled presently in your area, as well as those recycling handlers and processors who could accept the materials you collect.

For further information on recycling, contact the Council for Solid Waste Solutions, 1275 K St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005.

Teachers or school administrators who wish to order a free copy of the Council for Solid Waste Solutions manual, "How to Set Up a School Recycling Program," or the "Resource Revolution" video, should call 1-(800)-243-5790.